An exciting Day 1b of the PokerStars European Poker Tour Prague €5,300 Main Event saw 268 players advance from a field of 745 after ten levels of 60 minutes each. Together with the 391 players that registered for Day 1a, the field is currently up to 1,136 entries with 395 of them still in contention after both starting days. Late registration will be open right up until the start of Day 2, after which the total prize pool and payouts will be announced.
Well-known pro Bart Lybaert from Belgium bagged the biggest batch of them all, spinning his 30,000 starting stack all the way up to 333,400. Lybaert has already racked up over $3M in lifetime winnings — including a €1,100 EUREKA win for €115,000 (the predecessor of the EPT National) right here in Prague — and will be looking to add yet another big score to his already impressive poker resumé. Lybaert will come back second in chips overall, sitting behind Pierre Calamusa who bagged the overall lead with 457,000 on Day 1a.
Following Lybaert to round out the top 5 of the day were Niklas Lehnert-Rappel (267,000), Alex Kulev (266,800), Jonathan Therme (256,400) and Jakub Krawinski (236,600). Notables such as Dario Sammartino (168,000), Jussi Nevanlinna (155,800), Sebastian Malec (154,600), Alexandre Reard (88,100) and Ole Schemion (31,300) also soundly navigated their way through a stacked field.
Team PokerStars ambassador Fatima Moreira de Melo wasn't as fortunate as the aforementioned players as she'd be among those to run out of chips on Day 1b. Moreira de Melo wasn't the only notable to hit the rail: fellow PokerStars ambassador Ramon Colillas, Conor Beresford, Henri Buhler, Walter Treccarichi, Jason Wheeler, Morten Mortensen, Jasper Meijer van Putten, Parker Talbot, Kahle Burns, Julien Martini, and defending champion Paul Michaelis all joined the former Olympian on the sidelines after losing their stacks along the way as well.
Bizarre Bad Beat: Backdoor Quads Defeats Flopped Full House
There was plenty to be excited about on Day 1b of the Main Event, with swingy stacks across the board as well as players getting accused of stealing chips. However, the craziest hand of the day no doubt occurred at Table 24, where three players got their stacks in the middle on a board. Action was innocuous until the river and for good reason, as all players tried to trap one another by slowplaying their big hands.
Holding pocket sevens, Florian Ribouchon was the first to come out of the woodworks and bet the river with his flopped top full house. Antoine Vranken, with the six-four of hearts for sixes full, then raised it up one seat over. Lukasz Grossmann, however, held pocket fives for the miracle runner-runner quads and shoved all in over the top. Both Ribouchon and Vranken got their stacks in the middle as well, after which the entire table frantically whipped out their phones to film the improbable showdown that just unfolded before their eyes.
With both starting days wrapped up, the 268 surviving players from Day 1b will join the 127 that made it through on Day 1a and come back for Day 2 at noon local time on Friday, December 13. Make sure to check back to PokerNews as we get one step closer to crowning a new EPT champion!